Opposition leader seeks law change

Monday October 01 2018

Newly-elected member of parliament and an opposition party leader Frank Habineza is committed to holding the government accountable. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA


Newly elected opposition party member of parliament Frank Habineza has vowed to push for revision of laws that will give the chamber of deputies power to relieve government officials from their duties, if found guilty of gross misconduct or plunging the government into serious financial loss.

Currently, parliament does not have power or authority to force government officials implicated in serious financial crimes or other crimes to quit.

Mr Habineza made the remarks shortly after being sworn in as an MP, in front of President Paul Kagame, who, in his address to the incoming fourth assembly, called on legislators and other government officials to deliver and work in the interests of citizens. Failure to which would lead to serious repercussion.

According to Mr Habineza, his party will push for changes that will see immediate arrests and investigation of public servants, found involved in fraud, embezzlement and or mismanagement of public funds, during commission hearings or citizen outreach programmes.

“We are going to push changes to the law to force officials to resign, in cases of gross mismanagement of public funds, either through the public account committee or through other commissions. We are going to make sure that those officials are held accountable and funds are returned,” he said.

Mr Habineza whose party won two parliamentary seats in the recent elections told Rwanda Today that his party will maintain an opposition manifesto agenda that is expected to draw different outcomes as far as government accountability is concerned.


Donatile Mukabalisa, the re-elected speaker of the parliament, said holding government officials to account was tough because they were restrained by lack of laws for immediate resignation of officials found in transgression.

In his address during the swearing-in ceremony, President Kagame told the incoming fourth legislative assembly to take a tougher stance on delivery by using all means possible and to collaborate with other organs in ensuring continuous progress.

“We have new members of parliament and new parties and they are joining parliament to work together and collaborate towards transforming this country. You interacted with citizens when you were asking for their votes, now that you have been elected, remain close to citizens, serve them and deliver on the promises you made,” he said.

The president also requested serious follow ups, monitoring and co-operation to ensure accountability at all levels of government.

The incoming legislature who were sworn in will be led by speaker Mukabalisa; she will be deputised by Eddah Mukabagwiza, who will be in charge of legislation and Moussa Fazil Harerimana, who will be in charge of administration and finance.